U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Data Tools Outage
We are aware of an issue currently impacting users trying to access some of our data tools on census.gov.  We appreciate your patience as we work to restore QuickFacts, the Population Clock, My Tribal Area and My Congressional District.
Skip Header

Black History Month: Census Bureau Looks at Nation’s Black-Owned Businesses

Written by:

The number of U.S. Black-owned businesses grew from 2017 to 2019 in all sectors of the U.S. economy, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s Annual Business Survey (ABS).

We reviewed business patterns among Black business owners, drawing on Census Bureau data since 2017.

In 2019, there were 134,567 Black-owned employer businesses (businesses with more than one employee) in all sectors of the U.S. economy.

Among our findings:

  • In 2019, there were 134,567 Black-owned employer businesses (businesses with more than one employee) in all sectors of the U.S. economy, an 8% hike from the 124,551 Black-owned employer businesses in 2018, according to the ABS.
  • In 2018, there were about 3,115,000 nonemployer businesses with Black owners, up 5.6% from 2,951,000 in 2017, according to the Census Bureau’s 2018 Nonemployer Statistics by Demographics (NES-D).

Census Bureau data shows that American entrepreneurship as a whole has been increasing. The Census Bureau’s most recent Business Formation Statistics showed that Americans applied for a record 5.4 million business ID numbers in 2021.

Resources for Minority-Owned Businesses

The U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) — the Census Bureau’s parent agency — has long been a leader in promoting and providing resources to minority-owned businesses.

DOC’s Office of Minority Business Enterprise created the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) March 5, 1969.

The MBDA has several key initiatives designed to promote and support minority-owned businesses.

Among them: the Enterprising Women of Color Initiative, which recognizes the impact of minority women-owned businesses in communities. In fact, minority women are the fastest growing population of entrepreneurs, according to MBDA.

The MBDA also set up business centers throughout the country designed to help minority populations expand their businesses and/or markets by, for example, helping them identify strategic partners or become export-ready.

The Census Bureau also offers multiple resources for small- and minority-owned business owners, including:


Adam Grundy and Lynda Lee are supervisory statisticians in the Census Bureau’s Economic Management Division.



Our email newsletter is sent out on the day we publish a story. Get an alert directly in your inbox to read, share and blog about our newest stories.



America Counts tells the stories behind the numbers in a new inviting way. We feature stories on various topics such as families, housing, employment, business, education, the economy, emergency management, health, population, income and poverty.

Contact our Public Information Office for media inquiries or interviews.


Is this page helpful?
Thumbs Up Image Yes Thumbs Down Image No
255 characters maximum 255 characters maximum reached
Thank you for your feedback.
Comments or suggestions?


Back to Header